Hundreds of migrants and refugees based at the Jungle camp in Calais have been ordered to leave next week or face eviction, local aid workers said.
State authorities have given them until 8pm local time (7pm UK-time) on Tuesday to leave their makeshift homes in the southern part of the squalid site.
Up to 1,000 people who have fled war, poverty and persecution are reported to be affected by the plans, but local aid workers say the figure could be much higher.
Pascal Froehly, who volunteers for the relief organisation Caritas, spoke of his concerns of heightened tensions being created if bulldozers move in to level the site.
He said: “I find it extremely annoying and unfair to move these people away from what they have created, including churches, shops and restaurants.”
Froehly said the plans to move them to heated containers elsewhere in the camp offered the migrants and refugees no chance to socialise, adding: “It’s just a bed for them.”
Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart said the dismantling of the camp would keep migrants and refugees away from activists bent on causing disruption.